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Changing the Future of Health Professions: Embedding Interprofessional Education Within an Academic Health Center

Blue, Amy V. PhD; Mitcham, Maralynne PhD, OTR/L; Smith, Thomas PhD; Raymond, John MD; Greenberg, Raymond MD, PhD

Academic Medicine:
doi: 10.1097/ACM.0b013e3181e53e07
Institutional Issues

Institutions are increasingly considering interprofessional education (IPE) as a means to improve health care and reduce medical errors in the United States. Effective implementation of IPE within health professions education requires a strategic institutional approach to ensure longevity and sustainability. In 2007, the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) established Creating Collaborative Care (C3), an IPE initiative that takes a multifaceted approach to weaving interprofessional collaborative experiences throughout MUSC's culture to prepare students to participate in interprofessional, collaborative health care and research settings.

In this article, the authors describe C3's guiding conceptual foundation and student learning goals. They present its implementation framework to illustrate how C3 is embedded within the institutional culture. It is housed in the provost's office, and an overarching implementation committee functions as a central coordinating group. Faculty members develop and implement C3 activities across professions by contributing to four collaborating domains—curricular, extracurricular, faculty development, and health care simulation—each of which captures an IPE component. The authors provide examples of IPE activities developed by each domain to illustrate the breadth of IPE at MUSC. The authors believe that MUSC's efforts, including the conceptual foundation and implementation framework, can be generalized to other institutions intent on developing IPE within their organizational cultures.

Author Information

Dr. Blue is assistant provost for education, professor of family medicine, and director, Creating Collaborative Care (C3), Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, South Carolina.

Dr. Mitcham is professor and director, Division of Occupational Therapy, College of Health Professions, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, South Carolina.

Dr. Smith is professor of library science and informatics and associate director, Center for Academic Excellence and Writing Center, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, South Carolina.

Dr. Raymond was DCI professor of medicine, vice president for academic affairs, and provost, Medical University of South Carolina, and staff physician, Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center, Charleston, South Carolina, at the time this article was written. He is now president and chief executive officer, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Dr. Greenberg is professor of biostatistics, bioinformatics, and epidemiology, and president, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, South Carolina.

Correspondence should be addressed to Dr. Blue, 45 Courtenay Drive, Suite SS448, MSC 175, Charleston, SC 29425; telephone: (843) 792-3409; e-mail:

© 2010 Association of American Medical Colleges